Changing allele frequencies in a population – Teaching resource

Educational design: Jacinta Duncan and Duncan Goddard

In this course you will use models to simulate the impact of the forces of evolution on allele frequencies in populations. You will explore events that can increase genetic diversity including mutations, gene flow and sexual reproduction. You will investigate the impact on populations of two major mechanisms for evolutionary change: genetic drift and natural selection.

The modelling and gaming simulations in this course are designed to support you to investigate new ideas and develop theories to explain, compare and contrast evolution by genetic drift and by natural selection.

Please note: this module teaches how to calculate allele frequencies so you can track allele numbers over generations of pea aphids. For the VCE course you do not need to know how to calculate allele frequencies. However, you do need to be able to understand that they change over generations through genetic drift and natural selection.

Pea aphid disclaimer: In this course assume all pea aphids are reproducing sexually. In the wild, pea aphids can also reproduce through parthenogenesis (so they reproduce sexually or asexually).

Before you begin download the instructions for playing the pea aphid evolution game and the record sheet for the pea aphid evolution game.

Level - VCE Biology Unit 4

Estimated duration - 3 hours (note that your progress through courses is saved so that you can complete them over multiple visits to the site)


Click here to start this course.